Nitin Gadkari: Carmakers Should Add 6 Airbags And Use Flex Engines

Nitin Gadkari urges automakers
Nitin Gadkari urges automakers

Nitin Gadkari, The Minister of Road Transport and Highways has announced some changes in the upcoming car models to increase the safety level of all the vehicles. 

2 Airbags to be mandatory from 31st December, Gadkari Urges Carmakers To Add Up To 6 Airbags – Nitin Gadkari

Dual-front Airbags to be made mandatory from 31st December, 2021
Dual-front Airbags: Mandatory from 31st December 2021

Driver’s airbag has been compulsory since July 1, 2019. Similarly, on April 1, 2021, the front passenger airbag also got compulsory for all the new models being launched. The previous deadline was August 31. But, now, carmakers have a window as the deadline is December 31, 2021.

There are some challenges that the automakers and customers will be experiencing with this move. It will eventually add up to the vehicle manufacturing cost. The addition of front passenger airbags costs around 10,000-15,000/-. The curtain and side airbags may cost double that amount. 

Carmakers will have to re-engineer their cars as the current cars are designed to meet the existing guidelines. This includes changes in the fittings, interior trim, body shell, etc. to ensure effective deployment of airbags. The cases can also be that the design of some of the existing models may not allow these changes.

Some carmakers are offering 6 airbags in their models but all these cars are in the higher segment. This is because of the cost incurred in placing more airbags in a car and the engineering costs. Nissan, Maruti Suzuki, and Renault, however, don’t have any model that has 6 airbags. 

Nitin Gadkari also urges automakers to roll out Flex Fuel Engines within a year

Talking about flex-fuel engines, these are a kind of internal combustion engines that can run on more than one kind of fuel and can also run with a combination of them. Nitin Gadkari has requested the same from the delegation of CEOs of SIAM. He stated that they should be capable of running on 100% ethanol or petrol. 

This is possible if the carmakers can use suitable ECU programming and modify the fuel composition sensor. Cars can run efficiently on a blend between methanol or ethanol and petrol after these changes. They can also run 100% on Ethanol or 100%  Petrol.

Nitin Gadkari said in a tweet that he has been discussing the same thing with a delegation of CEOs of SIAM. Gadkari expects these changes to be made in a year’s time. Countries such as the USA, Brazil, and Canada already have these kinds of engines available in their cars. 

In Autocar India Awards 2021, he conveyed his views and wish to have the implementation of flex-fuel vehicles in India. He also emphasized that both two-wheelers and four-wheelers should be equipped with these flex-fuel engines. 

India currently has 10% ethanol-blended petrol which was earlier 5%. The Indian Govt. put forward the target of producing 20% ethanol-blended petrol. The government expects to achieve this target by 2025. The government also expects implementation to begin in 2023.

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